Skip to main content

10 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Fat and Are Gaining Weight

David is a writer and an avid fitness enthusiast who gained a muscular physique through resistance training.

Is your weight loss journey not yielding any results? Here are some potential reasons why.

Is your weight loss journey not yielding any results? Here are some potential reasons why.

The Struggle to Lose Body Fat

Many people in society struggle to lose body fat for a variety of reasons. Those reasons can be either physical or psychological. Some countries across the world have problems with obesity in both children and adults. According to the CDC, obesity prevalence increased from 30.5% to 41.9% during the years between 1999 and 2017.

Some individuals reach their fat loss goals, but end up gaining a lot of the weight back. Sometimes this is because the person goes back to their previous lifestyle. For example, they lost the weight by doing cardiovascular activities, but stopped once they reached their ideal weight. They may have also gone back to their old eating habits that involved high fat foods, alcohol, or an abundance of sugar in their diet.

10 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

Here are ten potential reasons why you're gaining weight instead of losing it.

1. Not Tracking Calories

In order to lose body fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume. A calorie is a unit of energy. Human beings need calories. Otherwise, we will starve and perish. Unfortunately, too many calories will cause excess fat, especially around the waist. Many grocery stores have plenty of snacks that have a ton of sugar or fat. It's very easy to gain weight when most of us have access to high-calorie foods in our modern society.

Tracking your calories is essential if your goal is to lose body fat and get a slimmer waist. While you cannot target fat loss to specific areas of your body, you can control your nutrition and exercise routine. Calories come from macronutrients. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are macronutrients that are in the food you eat. Fats contain 9 calories per gram. Proteins and carbohydrates only have 4 grams of calories per gram.

Check the nutrition facts of the foods you purchase. The nutrition facts will indicate how many calories you get per serving, ingredients, macronutrients, and vitamin information. Track your calories by writing what you eat on a sheet of paper. Alternatively, try using an app like MyFitnessPal that tracks diet and exercise.

The FDA recommends choosing foods that are higher in fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium. They also recommend consuming less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.

Eggs have substantial amounts of vitamin D.

Eggs have substantial amounts of vitamin D.

2. Not Weighing Your Food

When you don't have access to nutrition labels, weighing your food is vital if you're trying to maintain your weight or lose excess body fat. Food scales will tell you how many ounces or pounds of meat, vegetables, or fruit you have. Before weighing your food, place a towel or paper plate on the scale to keep it clean. Don't use a heavy plate. Otherwise, it will provide a very inaccurate measurement. Most paper plates weigh a small fraction of an ounce.

For example, you can determine how much protein is in your chicken by weighing it. Each ounce of chicken has 8 grams of protein. If the scale says you have 8 ounces of chicken, then that means you're getting about 64 grams of protein. The total calories from protein would be about 264 calories, for each gram of protein contains 4 calories. Remember that breading or sauce on meat will add extra calories.

3. Consuming High-Calorie Drinks

What you drink is just as important as what you eat on a daily basis. Many beverages from fast food places contain a lot of calories because of all the sugar. Sports drinks help you stay hydrated in hot weather, but many of them contain large amounts of sugar.

Drinking water is a healthier alternative to sugary drinks. It can aid weight loss and potentially increase your satiety levels. Water keeps you hydrated without the extra calories. Some sports drinks and soda pops have 0-calorie options, though.

Milk is an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, and calcium. However, whole milk and chocolate milk are very high in calories and fat. A better alternative is 1% milk or skim milk.

4. High Hunger Levels

Satiety levels are important when you're trying to lose body fat. It's difficult to maintain your sanity or control your appetite when your satiety level is low. You're more likely to overeat when you're always hungry throughout the day.

Protein is a macronutrient that has a satiating effect. Consuming more protein can help maintain your appetite. Drinking water before meals may also prevent you from eating too much.

Lastly, consume high-volume foods that contain vitamins. That allows you to eat larger quantities of food without getting an excess of calories. Grapes are a good example. Many fruits and vegetables tend to be high-volume foods that contain many vitamins without much fat content.

Staying in motion can help your body lose weight faster.

Staying in motion can help your body lose weight faster.

5. Sedentary Lifestyle

While it's possible to lose body fat through diet alone, exercise can significantly aid in weight loss, especially if your metabolism is low. Cardiovascular activities that are done several times a week can burn hundreds of calories or more. Good activities include walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, riding bikes, or playing a sport.

It's not necessary to do high-intensity cardio like sprinting or jumping to burn off calories. Strenuous cardio might burn you out or cause injury if you do it too much.

6. Low Muscle Mass

Muscle mass burns more calories than fat, even when at rest. Gaining more muscle may prevent future weight gain. Lifting weights can even aid in fat loss to some extent. Compound exercises like squats, pull-ups, bench press, and deadlifts can build a lot of muscle, especially when you're a novice. In order to see results, you need to be consistent and consume high-quality protein.

7. Lack of Sleep

Getting adequate sleep is vital for energy levels and mental health. Losing weight will be more difficult if you don't have enough energy to exercise or engage in physical activities. It can also affect mental focus, happiness, and appetite.

Too much time on your phone, TV, computer, or another electronic device can make it difficult to fall asleep. Reading a book or listening to white noise may help you fall asleep faster. Additionally, avoid being nearby bright lights or loud noises. Use earmuffs if necessary.

If your room is hot and humid, use a small fan to cool your body off. It's difficult to sleep in high temperatures with poor air quality. Personally, I like using chargeable USB fans because of their convenience and practicality.

A lack of sleep can have drastic effects on your metabolism.

A lack of sleep can have drastic effects on your metabolism.

8. Binge Eating

Even if you're consistent with exercise and nutrition throughout most of the week, binge eating can negate much of that. Binge eating too often will either cause fat gain, or you'll hit a weight loss plateau. Some people go to parties and other events on the weekend and end up consuming too much alcohol, junk food, or order too much food at restaurants.

Determine why you're binge eating. Are you stressed from work, relationships, or something else? Do you have anxiety, depression, or something else that triggers the episodes of binge eating?

9. Highly Processed Foods

Many processed foods contain hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and flavoring agents. It's common in food manufacturing because it's usually less expensive and more convenient to create. Unfortunately, this has consequences for the general public. Foods that are highly processed are often high in calories, sodium, and sugars. They may also be devoid of essential vitamins.

10. Medical Conditions

Losing fat may be more difficult if you suffer from a medical condition like Hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or sleep apnea. Speak to a doctor if you think a medical condition is hindering your weight loss or health in general.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 David Patrick